Assignment #1 MID-TERM EXAM (EXAM #1)

In-class, closed-note/restricted communication multiple-choice written examination over Units 1 & 2 (Orientation/Communication Theory and Public Speaking Units). Alternatives: blue-book and multiple-choice examinations covering Units 1 & 2 will be available in the Star Lab (students may test on both units together or separately, as long as both are covered; student may choose essay or multiple-choice examinations for each unit). Student may take exam in the Star Lab at any time until working day before in- class administration unless otherwise indicated. Study questions for exams are available in the syllabus (these will probably approximate the blue-book test questions).

Assignment #2 SHORT SPEECH

PURPOSE: Introduction to principles of speech composition (especially organization) and delivery that are the basis of all speech assignments in this course.

TOPIC/DEVELOPMENT: Should be on a “personal interest” (a topic that gives the class insight into your attitudes and experiences, like talking about your job or a highly valued pastime is more likely to receive an “excellent” for topic choice). No research required.

SPEECH TYPE: Most students present an informative speech, emphasizing significant description, explanation, or demonstration (as opposed to a persuasive speech focusing on belief, attitude or behavior change). However, persuasion or entertainment-focused speeches are permitted. Time limit: 1-3 minutes.

OUTLINE/NOTES: A sufficiently developed typed/word-processed complete-sentence outline (every entry a complete sentence) that closely follows the guidelines of outlining discussed in lecture is due immediately after the speech. Any other notes used by the speaker must be in outline form--although such notes will not be graded, they must be turned in with the primary outline. Manuscripts (word-for-word notes in paragraph form) are NOT ALLOWED. THE BASIC SPEECH PLANNING FORM should be attached to the outline.

GRADING EMPHASIS: Mainly on the three criteria of 1) organization (how closely the speech follows the Basic Speech Model) 2) the development and mechanics of the outline, and 3) delivery (least emphasis).


PURPOSE: Continued emphasis on the principles of composition and delivery introduced in the SHORT SPEECH. Additional focus on strategies to create interest, clarity, and retention in messaged, with special attention to the use of audio-visual aids.

TOPIC/DEVELOPMENT/RESEARCH: Should emphasize interest value, usefulness, and importance to audience. At least three credible sources from at least three different types of sources required (interview with an expert, appropriate print or electronic media sources, etc.) cited in the speech. No more than one-third of the sources may be from the Internet. Audio or visual aid required.

SPEECH TYPE: Should be INFORMATIVE SPEECH. Time limit: 5-8 minutes.

OUTLINE/NOTES: Same as SHORT SPEECH except that MLA style is required on the complete sentence outline. BASIC SPEECH PLANNING FORM should be attached to the outline.

GRADING/EMPHASIS: Same criteria as previous speeches. Additional criteria: effective use of attention, clarity, and retention factors discussed in lecture, effective use of presentation aids, and quality of research.

Assignment #4 FINAL EXAM (EXAM #2)

Covers Units 3 & 4 only (Informative Communications and Persuasion Units) Unit 1 &2 as announced. Otherwise, same procedure as for MID-TERM EXAM.


PURPOSE: Further development or the principles emphasized in the previous speeches. Additional focus on principles of persuasive and argumentative messages.

TOPIC/DEVELOPMENT: Should be on a significant issue (to the group, community, nation, etc.) on which the speaker takes a position. Use of designated persuasive speech pattern is required. Research requirement is same as for the Informative Speech.

SPEECH TYPE: Should be a PERSUASIVE SPEECH focused on significantly changing audience beliefs, attitudes, or behavior. The speech must be on a policy (course of action) issue. Time limit: 5-8 minutes.


GRADING EMPHASIS: On same criteria as previous speech. Additional criteria: use of persuasive speech organization principles, evidence, reasoning, and choice of appeals.


PURPOSE: Continued emphasis on principles that were the focus of previous speeches. Practice with alternate methods of persuasive speech organization.

TOPIC/DEVELOPMENT: Topic chosen by same guidelines as that of FIRST PERSUASIVE SPEECH. However, the speaker must use a different persuasive speech organizational pattern. Research requirement: same as for the FIRST PERSUASIVE SPEECH.

SPEECH TYPE: Same as FIRST PERSUASIVE SPEECH, except that speaker may advocate a proposition (thesis) of fact, value, or policy.



Assignment #7 NOTEBOOK

All class notes, handouts, etc., are to be gathered into a permanent notebook. The notebook should have an appropriate sturdy binding to accommodate 8 ½ x 11” three-hole paper (on which class handouts will be printed). All contents should be bound (nothing loose). There will be a Table of Contents form provided to you and all pages should be numbered. The notebook must be completely written in conventional English (no shorthand, etc). The object of the assignment is to create a permanent reference work useful to the student (or to anyone else using it) beyond the course. It will be evaluated by criteria that include neatness/legibility, completeness, organization, and general utility.


This essay should be prepared throughout the term and is due the beginning of the final class meeting (Final Exam week). Keep your own copy—the essay itself will not be returned to you. The essay should describe personal benefits derived from the course. However, at least equal emphasis should be placed on suggestions for modification of course content, policies, or instruction that might benefit the writer or other students. No “good faith effort” on this assignment will lower the student’s grade average--“well thought-out” efforts may receive extra credit points. It should be at least two pages long (if handwritten). The purpose of this assignment is two-fold: 1) to enhance the value of the course to students by encouraging them to think more analytically about it, and 2) to provide useful feedback to the instructor.


On a subject chosen by the student, various source citations, photocopies, printouts, etc., will be required. Students are encouraged to use subjects that are particularly useful, e.g., subjects to be used in speeches. The entire assignment may be done in the MJC Library, but doing all or part of it in other libraries is permitted.